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Liz Writes Life 6-20-17

Liz Writes Life

June 20, 3017

Liz Writes Life

Last week was wonderful for gardening – warm, but not too hot! I’ve been harvesting spinach, but need to move a little faster as this first batch is starting to seed-out. Young lettuces are ready and I can’t believe how fast the radishes grow!

The carrots are coming up and will need to be thinned in a few weeks. Bugs must have eaten one of the watermelons and a major big leaf of the other. It doesn’t seem to be growing, so I planted more watermelon seeds. The five cantaloupes were only an inch high, so I decided to Miracle Gro nearly everything including the impatiens, vinca, zinnia, Sweet William, ice plant and the cosmos. Wow, the ice plants really like it here and are already putting out flowers. The vinca not so much as two plants have died. Ugh!

Pulled about 40 garlic bulbs and placed them under the pine tree to dry. About half are quite large. I did give them a shot of Miracle Gro in April and should have given them another in May.

The snow peas are producing well, but we don’t care for this variety as they are not very sweet and are stringy at medium-size. I usually plant the Oregon Sugar Snap Peas and didn’t this year. I can’t find the package, so I don’t know what variety these are, but I am definitely going back to the Oregon Sugar Snaps.

The corn really liked the Miracle Gro and seemed to shoot up overnight. They are about eight inches high. I better get the second crop in the ground.

More POW

Here is a bit more on the June 1, 2017 Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, told us the Shasta Valley Buske Ranch that was purchased by The Nature Conservancy may now be sold to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Apparently, TNC claimed it was trying to raise cattle, but had sold its water rights to DFW for fish in the Shasta River. Ray said that cattle don’t do well without water for pasture. Yep, that is true. So, now TNC ranch is likely to sell at a greatly reduced price, because of the loss of property value of no water rights. Was this planned?

The situation is not good for Siskiyou County as there will be less county taxes from the sale and DFW has not paid taxes on its land holdings for at least 12 years. Several years ago, the state legislature did provide (in the budget) for the state DFW to pay taxes to counties, but Gov. Brown seized the monies for another project.

There are significant properties held by the State of California in Siskiyou County that include several large wildlife areas that used to be ranches, two fish hatcheries – Iron Gate and Mt. Shasta – and I can’t recall what else.

Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, said they have been working to help farmer John Duarte, who is facing a $2.8 million fine. Duarte purchased 450 acres to plant wheat. He knew some areas were seasonal wetlands and had it mapped out. He planted the grain, but in Feb. 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued orders to stop work claiming Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not obtaining a permit to discharge dredge or fill material into seasonal wetlands that are considered “waters” of the United States.

Duarte then sued Army Corps and the state alleging they violated his right to due process and did not allow him to a hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office counter-sued and the U.S. district judge agreed with Army Corps, which is asking for the $2.8 million in civil penalties. Don’t know how they came up with that number?

An attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation is fighting for Duarte and says that this is the first time a farmer has needed a permit to plow fields. If this situation stands and Army Corp and the CA. regional water agency are able to flex their muscles, farming in California will be greatly affected. Permits are costly.

Erin said that Congressman LaMalfa is adamant Army Corp cannot regulate farming practices. Farming has exemptions from the Army Corp regulations and plowing a field is one of them.

Next POW meeting is June 29 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Timber lands

Late last week, Ray Haupt told me that much of the rest of the Timbervest properties did sell. Escrow is closed and Ecotrust Forest Management has purchased lands ranging from Sugar Creek at the south end of Scott Valley, around behind Etna, below the Marble Mt. Wilderness and to Fort Jones. He has spoken to EFM and learned they do manage timber and have allowed grazing allotments in some of their other properties.

I looked up on the internet and this is how EFM described itself: Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) is a forestland investment management and advisory services company. We manage land on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality.

Good news

Recently, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue launched an Interagency Task Force with representatives from 22 federal agencies. This is in keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order to make “rural” America great again. The task force must find ways to increase jobs, housing and education opportunities in rural communities, but even more importantly remove burdensome regulations. Well-known names like Ben Carson, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development, and Rick Perry, Sec. of Energy were in attendance voicing their commitment to the task at hand.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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